Bharat Biotech’s nasal Covid vaccine for adults gets Centre’s nod

Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: The central government has approved the use of Bharat Biotech’s nasal Covid vaccine iNCOVACC to be included in the country’s vaccination programme as a booster dose for those above 18 years of age.

The Union Health Ministry said that those who have taken Covishield and Covaxin can take the nasal vaccine as a heterologous booster dose.

The vaccine will be available on the CoWIN app starting today.

The iNCOVACC has been approved by the Government of India and will be used as a heterologous booster dose for those above 18 years of age.

The vaccine will be available in private hospitals and will be included in the Covid-19 vaccination programs from today. The CoWIN platform will also be modified in this regard.

In heterologous boosting, a person administered a different vaccine from the one that was used for the primary dose series.

In November, Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) announced that iNCOVACC (BBV154), has received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Restricted Use in Emergency Situation for ages 18 and above, in India, for heterologous booster doses.

iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The vaccine has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.

The vaccine was developed in partnership with Washington University, St. Louis, which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vectored construct and evaluated in preclinical studies for efficacy.

Product development and clinical trials were funded in part by the Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology’s, COVID Suraksha Program.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is scheduled to holding a virtual meeting with State health ministers on the Covid-19 situation and preparedness at 3 pm today, according to sources.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired a high-level meeting yesterday to review the status and preparedness of public health response to COVID-19 and emphasised the need for strengthened surveillance with a focus on genome sequencing and increased testing.

This high-level review meeting comes against the backdrop of a spike in COVID-19 cases in some countries, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Modi assessed the COVID-19 situation in the country, the preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics and the status of the vaccination campaign in the country. He also evaluated the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and their public health implications.

Over the last two days, Chief Ministers of many states around the country have conducted high-level meetings with Senior Officials regarding the preparedness for Covid19 in their states.

The sub-variant of the Omicron variant BF.7, that is driving the new surge in Covid cases in China, Japan, South Korea, France and the United States, has been detected in India also. A total of four cases have been reported in four states in India — the first one in July and the latest in November.

Overall cases in India continue to be relatively meagre, at fewer than 200 daily for several days now.

As per sources, there are currently 10 different variants of Covid-19 in the country, with the latest being BF.7. (ANI)

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